In Chapter 5, "Installing Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007," you installed Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and now you need to configure the farm and the operational components. Central Administration provides the interface for these tasks. The Central Administration interface contains three separate pages for this purpose: the Home, Operations, and Application Management pages. In this chapter, you will work with the Central Administration Home page and the Operations page to perform the core administrative functions required to configure your new farm. You will also see how to configure the farm when you add SharePoint Server 2007 servers and create a medium farm topology. Then, in the next chapter, you will learn about how to use the Application Management page.
In earlier Microsoft products, the installation of the binaries and the initial configuration of the product were combined into one, long administrative action. Ultimately, this design proved to be inflexible and led to dissatisfaction for those who wanted to commit simple configuration changes but were forced to go through longer administrative actions than they felt was necessary.
SharePoint Server 2007 separates the installation and configuration processes. Setup.exe installs the binaries onto your server. Then, either immediately after installing the binaries or at some point in the future, you can run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard, which will allow you to configure the server.
SharePoint Server 2007 configuration is accomplished via two tools: the SharePoint Products and Technolgies Configuration Wizard and Central Administration. You learned about the wizard in the previous chapter. In this and the following chapters, you'll learn about (what is sometimes called) the Post Setup Configuration (PSC) options in Central Administration.